1 Thessalonians 3:1-13
For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain.
But our exhortation did not come from deceit or uncleanness, nor was it in guile.
But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.
For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness— God is witness.
Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.
But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.
So affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.
For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.
You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe;
as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children,
that you would have a walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men,
forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
For this reason I also suffer these things, nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermongenes.
The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiporus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain;
but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very diligently and found me.
The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day— and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
Therefore I desire that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting;
1 Timothy 2:1-8
1 Corinthians 12:1-3
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idol, however you were led.
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you no of more value than they?
“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
“So why do your worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
“and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
“Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
“For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
But with me it is a very small thing that should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do no even judge myself.
For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts; and then each ones praise will come from God.
Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.
For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?
You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us— and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you!
For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men are condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!
Even to the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.
And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure it;
being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.
I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.
For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
Therefore I urge you, imitate me.
For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you.
But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.
For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—- that a man has his father’s wife!
And your are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.
For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged, as though I were present, concerning him who has so done this deed.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.
Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioner, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.
But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or and extortioner—- not even to eat with such a person.
For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?
But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves that wicked person.”
“But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’
“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
“Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your moneybelts,
“nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; For a worker is worthy of his food.
“Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out.
“And when you go into a household, greet it.
“If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
“And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
“Assuredly, I say to you, it will be nor more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
“But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.
“And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
“But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak;
“for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
“Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
“It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!
“Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them fall to the ground apart from your Father’s will.
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
“Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.
“But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
“For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.’
“And ‘a man’s foes will be those of his own household.’
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
“He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
“And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart.
For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,
who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God,
and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.
But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,
That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.
For this is the word of promise: ”At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”
And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac
(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls),
it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.”
As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteous with God? Certainly not!
For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”
So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy,
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “Even for this same purpose I have raised you up, that I might show My power in you, and that My name might be declared in all the earth.”
Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?”
But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”
Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
and that He might make know the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,
As He says also in Hosea:
“I will call them My people, who were not My people,
And her beloved, who was not beloved.”
”And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,
’You are not My people,’
There they will be called the sons of the living God.”
Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel:
“Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea,
The remnant will be saved.
For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,
Because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.”
And as Isaiah said before:
”Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed,
We would have become like Sodom,
And we would have been made like Gomorrah.”
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;
but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.
Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.
As it is written:
”Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”